Monday, February 27, 2017

How to make an adorable leprechaun wine cork bear

Basic bear instructions:

You will need:

3 wine corks

1 champagne cork

1/8” thick cork sheet available at craft stores

Small awl or pointed nail

Xacto or craft knife

Shamrock felt shape

Scrap of white felt

Tiny brown or black pom pom

Black dimensional fabric paint or small black beads

20-gauge wire

Wire cutters


Fine line marker

220 fine sandpaper

Piece of heavy corrugated cardboard to cut on

Glue gun and glue sticks

Scrap of 22-gauge green wire

Small cork stopper

Black acrylic paint

Black card stock

Gold acrylic paint

Tiny paintbrush

1.     Protect your work surface with one or two pieces of heavy corrugated cardboard. Using two matching wine corks and the Xacto knife, slice thinly down each cork.  Rub on the fine sandpaper to smooth.  This will allow the corks to be stable. Run a bead of hot glue down the side of one cork and attach them together.  These are the legs and base of your bear. 

2.     Add a generous amount of hot glue on the bottom of the champagne cork (Body) focusing on the areas where it attaches to the legs. Center the body on the legs and attach. (See photo)

3.     Measure and mark a line halfway across the third wine cork.  Use the Xacto knife to cut the cork in half.  Rub the cut end of one half on the sandpaper to smooth.  Turn the half cork on its end and mark in half diagonally and cut.  You will have two arm pieces.  (Save the other half for another bear or discard)

4.     Cut a ½” piece of 20-gauge wire.  Use the awl to make a pilot hole in an arm piece and insert the wire piece.  Make another hole in the body with the awl or nail, add some glue on the arm end with wire and insert into the body hole.  Repeat for other arm on opposite side.

5.     Trace and cut two ears (half moon shapes) on the flat 1/8” thick cork and use the Xacto to cut out.  Cork cuts easily but at that thickness it is simpler to cut them out using short strokes with the pointed end of the Xacto.  If there are any rough areas lightly rub against the sandpaper.  Trim to fit the head if necessary. Add some glue to the edges of the ears and attach to each side of the head. (The first steps are for the basic bear.  If you are making the leprechaun, don't attach the ears until you have added the hat)

Finishing your Leprechaun wine cork bear

Paint the cork stopper black and let dry.  Cut a ¾” circle from black cardstock and attach to the     painted cork stopper with some glue.  Add to the top of the bear’s head.

Using the tiny paintbrush and gold paint, add a gold line around the base of the hat.  (See photo) Add some glue to the top of the bear’s head and attach the hat in between the ears.

Now make the pot of gold.  Cut a tiny bit off the leftover cork from making his arms.  Using the craft knife carefully carve out the center.  You don’t have to go that deep and leave a ample rim.  Cut about 6 inches of wire and insert for a handle. 

Paint, the center of the pot with gold paint.  You can also use a paper hold punch to punch out some gold cardstock and glue to the top of the pot. 

To finish your bear, glue a shamrock on the belly.  Cut a circle of white felt for the face and add with some glue.  Add the pompom in the center with some more glue.  Use the dimensional fabric paint toe make two eyes, or alternately glue on some seed beads.

Monday, February 13, 2017

How to make a perfect champagne cork shamrock stamp

Champagne cork shamrock stamp

If you’ve saved that champagne cork from New Year’s Eve (and I know you did) you can use it to make a perfect cork shamrock stamp! 

It’s easy to carve with an X-acto or craft knife.  When the cork shamrock stamp is ready it will have a myriad of uses.  Stamp all your correspondences.  Stamp up a few bookmarks for school treats for your child’s classmates.  Stamp some plain brown paper to create your own wrap for small gifts. 

Since you make this stamp from cork your image will have tiny open areas that gives your stamp a textured look. 


Champagne cork
X-acto or craft knife
Piece of thin cardboard
Ink pad (green, or any color you prefer)
Stamping items
Tiny bit of fine sandpaper

Champagne cork shamrock stamp


1.     First, make your pattern.  Begin by folding a thin piece of cardboard in half.  Then use a pen to draw a half heart on the fold.  The half heart should be measured ¼” on the fold line.  Finally use some pointed scissors to cut out.  Open the cardboard piece and you will have your heart stencil.

2.     Next, use the pen to draw the heart on the bottom (Flat end) of the cork.  Make three hearts in the shape of a shamrock.  Draw a curved triangle in the center for the stem.  (See photo)

3.     Now, use the craft knife to carefully cut around your design.  Work slowly, making small slits and slices.  Cut around the image about ¼” down.

4.     Then use a tiny piece of fine sandpaper to lightly sand any rough surfaces.  Your stamp is ready to use.

5.     Ink up the image with your preferred color and stamp using steady pressure.  Practice first on scrap paper before you stamp on your projects to the get used to the pressure and stamp.  Now you can use your shamrock stamp to make seasonal bookmarks, greeting cards and more!

Wasn’t that easy and fun?  Let’s connect on Facebook, Pinterest, G+, twitter, and more!  I’d love to hear your comments!

Note:  When working with a craft knife please be extremely careful, this is not a project for kids, but the kids will love if you make them a stamp of their own!